Arsenic and Old Lace
by StageCenter Community Theatre
Dec. 07 - Dec. 08 (2020)
The play is a farcical black comedy revolving around the Brewster family, descended from the Mayflower settlers but now composed of maniacs, most of them homicidal. The hero, Mortimer Brewster, is a drama critic who must deal with his crazy, murderous family and local police in Brooklyn, New York, as he debates whether to go through with his recent promise to marry the woman he loves, Elaine Harper, who lives next door and is the daughter of the local minister.
Directed by John Baldwin
Audition Dates: Monday, December 7 & Tuesday, December 8 at 7 pm
Please wear a mask!
(Please note: there are some roles that would suggest a certain gender, but we will cast genders based on availability of actors. Likewise, age ranges are flexible as well, and some doubling up on parts may occur. )
Abby Brewster. A darling lady, and the very model of Victorian charm and grace, who poisons elderly gentlemen, with her sister as an act of charity. She and her sister Martha seem to bethe absolute embodiment of the values and polite society of a bygone age.
The Rev. Dr Harper. We only see Elaine Harper’s father in the opening scene; a doctor of divinity, and the minister to the church next door to the Brewster house. The Brewster sisters have seen many ministers come and go over the years, but they seem to be particularly fond of Dr. Harper and vice versa.
Teddy Brewster. Very likable, kindhearted brother to Mortimer and Jonathan, Nephew of Abby and Martha Brewster, Teddy is a man who believes that he is the 26th President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt.
Officer Brophy. The first police officer we meet in the show, Brophy is a thoroughly likable sort of fellow. Is making his rounds collecting Christmas toys for the needy.
Officer Klein. A flatfoot Brooklyn officer who makes his rounds with Officer Brophy collecting Christmas toys.
Martha Brewster. Very sweet, but more submissive than Abby, Martha still is a strong woman. She and her sister have lived together for many, many years. Their personalities and pecking order around each other have been firmly rooted for eons.
Elaine Harper. Daughter of Rev. Dr. Harper, and Mortimer’s fiancée. She is surprisingly wise in the ways of the world for a minister’s daughter. She is a little bit wily, sassy, and
Mortimer Brewster. Nephew of Abby and Martha, brother to both Teddy and Jonathan Brewster. A very likable, Mortimer is a drama critic who is in love with, & engaged to Elaine Harper. A good-hearted cynic who is about to have his world turned upside down.
Mr Gibbs. An elderly gentleman who wishes to rent a room from the Brewster sisters; and nearly falls victim to the sisters “charity”. He is a little gruff, but he warms up fairly quickly upon being offered a treat he hasn’t had since he was a child.
Jonathan Brewster. Nephew of Abby and Martha Brewster, brother to Teddy and Mortimer. Jonathan is a psychopath who has numerous murders to his credit and no scruples whatsoever. He is creepy. Jonathan is a killer, that loves his business and he’s got an unbelievably short temper.
Dr Einstein. A German plastic surgeon, with an accent to prove it. Right hand to Jonathan, Dr. Einstein is mousey and submissive to Jonathan. Einstein should be viewed as a good guy whose life has gone bad. The audience truly has to sympathize with this guy.
Officer O’Hara. (S)he is the quintessential example of an Irish-American police officer: Full of life, good natured and played big. (S)he is on very good terms with the Aunts. O’Hara is a would-be playwright, and needs to plainly display the nagging, persistent drive that’s kindled within him/her once (s)he discovers that Mortimer is a famous dramatic critic.
Lieutenant Rooney. The man in charge at the local police precinct. Very early in the show we gain a pretty strong understanding of the caliber of men he has to manage under his watch. As such, he has very little patience for blunder and mistakes, and needs to run a pretty tight ship. He is loud, decisive, and clearly in-charge of every situation in which he finds himself.
Mr Witherspoon. The superintendent of Happy Dale Sanitarium. Very mild mannered and kind.
IN ADDITION TO ACTORS, WE WILL NEED:
Builders for the set (there will be some tricky construction).
Makeup (especially skilled in aging effects)
If you wish to be considered for a non-acting task, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org, or be at the auditions Dec 7-8.